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MARGINAL FACTOR COST, MONOPSONY: The change in total factor cost resulting from a change in the quantity of factor input employed by a monopsony. Marginal factor cost, abbreviated MFC, indicates how total factor cost changes with the employment of one more input. It is found by dividing the change in total factor cost by the change in the quantity of input used. Marginal factor cost is compared with marginal revenue product to identify the profit-maximizing quantity of input to hire.

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AUTOMATIC STABILIZER: A feature of the federal government's budget that tends to reduce the ups and downs of the business cycle without the need for any special legislative action, that is stabilization policies. The two key automatic stabilizers are income taxes and transfer payments. When our economy drops into a recession, unemployment rises, aggregate output declines, and people have less income. But with less income, they pay fewer income taxes, and thus there's less of a drain on consumption than their might have been. Likewise, many who are unemployed get transfer payments in the form of unemployment compensation, welfare, or Social Security. This lets them consume more than they would have otherwise. During an expansion, both of these go in the other direction. As a result, a recession sees more spending and fewer taxes, while an expansion has less spending and more taxes, all occurring quite automatically.

     See also | business cycle | stabilization policies | fiscal policy | transfer payment | unemployment compensation | welfare | income tax | business cycle | contraction | expansion | consumption | income | aggregate output |


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INDUCED CONSUMPTION

Household consumption expenditures that depend on income or production (especially disposable income, national income, or even gross domestic product). That is, changes in income induce changes in consumption. Induced consumption captures the fundamental psychological law put forth by John Maynard Keynes. It is measured by the marginal propensity to consume (MPC) and is reflected by the positive slope of consumption line. The alternative to induced consumption is autonomous consumption, which does not depend on income.

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